Returning from my first visit to Mallorca, a Mediterranean paradise, the itinerary put me on my first flight on Vueling Airlines. The Vueling flight arrived in Barcelona, Spain late in the evening and connected to an American Airlines flight to New York the next morning. Rather than trying to make the best of the overnight layover curled up somewhere at the airport, I preferred finding a hotel in or near the airport if the price was right. That led to another frist — my first experience in a “youth” hostel.
Youth is in quotes because most hostels no longer refer to themselves that way and youth is an adjective that has been personally inapplicable for several decades. Youth hostel is what they were called back in the day. In spite of rebranding attempts, the notion that these accommodations were strictly for people in their teens and twenties remained fixed in my mind.
So there was trepidation when I picked Mucha Masia. There wasn’t much choice. All of the traditional hotels near the airport were charging well over $100/night. That was too much for just a few hours of rest. The rate at Mucha Masia was about $25 and the hostel was supposedly only a couple of miles from the airport.
I took a taxi from the airport. Airport taxis charge 20€ minimum. I thought the driver would make out very well for a short trip at that price. In fact, the cost was 22€ on the meter.
Mucha Masia is located in a mostly residential section of El Prat de Llobregat. At that time of night, traffic is prohibited on many of the streets around Mucha Masia. After paying for the taxi I had to walk several blocks and make couple of turns before finding the hostel.
I was a little anxious because it was my first hostel stay and I thought some might think it was weird that someone my age was staying in a youth hostel. Part of my anxiety was relieved upon entering. The first person I saw was older than me.
The front desk is open 24 hours. Check in was similar to check in at a hotel except the attendant also gave me a brief lesson in hostel rules.
The attendant showed me to the room. My berth was in a dormitory style room of four bunk beds. Since it was late, the attendant emphasized the need for silence and not turning on lights. Others were sleeping in bunks with drawn curtains.
I was assigned to an upper bunk by the window. I had to climb in, undress and stow my stuff by cell phone illumination.
Everyone seemed to be sleeping. There was some mild snoring but otherwise dead quiet. I set my cell phone alarm and enjoyed sleeping in a bed for a few hours. Compared to prior experiences camping at an airport, the bunk bed felt like luxury.
When the phone alarmed, it was still pitch black outside and in. I didn’t have to do much dressing and packing but again it was all accomplished by cell phone light.
The common bathroom was nearby. It has facilities for men and women. I saved showering for the lounge at the airport.
A couple of people were having refreshments and relaxing in the lounge downstairs.
Mucha Masia includes a light breakfast with the room charge. I saved breakfast for the lounge and didn’t eat anything.
I notified the attendant I was leaving and asked for directions to the metro station. The train would be much cheaper than another taxi. The station is a about 1 km from the hostel. No one was out and about at that hour, and this was months before lockdown.
The attendant’s directions had me at El Prat station in less than 15 minutes.
Line L9 goes directly to the terminals at BCN. The ride was worth a few euros.
If Mucha Masia is a typical hostel, these hotels can be a great option. The lounge looked like a nice place for reading, browsing the web, or meeting fellow travelers. This hostel has a very nice courtyard and it rents bikes. Arriving and departing in the middle of the night presented problems in a dormitory style room. All in all however, Mucha Masia was a good value and it was unquestionably more pleasant than spending the night in the airport. I’d stay at a
youth hostel again under similar circumstances.
Have you stayed at hostels? How would you compare Mucha Masia to your experiences at other hostels.